NZH

Charity boss allegedly assaulted journo in front of cameras

THE president of the Auckland Car Club and founder of a charity to help disadvantaged youth has been filmed kicking and pushing a photographer at the weekend's Supercars Championship.

Australian motorsport photographer Dirk Klynsmith was left lying prone after he was kicked and pushed into a concreted grass verge by local motorsport identity Ted Jarvis.

The photographer is shown falling back, his head hitting his equipment.

Jarvis walks away with Klynsmith lying prone on his back.

The incident, which happened off course at the V8 Supercars Championship at Pukekohe, was captured on film.

The man who filmed the incident said in a Facebook post that he put down his equipment and immediately offered to help the photographer.

"Dirk is fine... he has a few extra marks on his head. Someone is driving him back to the hotel and he has been to medical," he posted.

The videographer said Supercars had been working with police over the altercation.

Klynsmith has since left the country to return to Australia.

This morning, Ted Jarvis, who is the founder of the Silver Fern Motorsport Charitable Trust set up to mentor at-risk youth interested in turning motorsport into automotive careers, said he was going to speak with MotorSport New Zealand before making a statement about the incident.

He said there was more to it than what was captured on film.

"There was a whole thing beforehand," he told the Herald.

He had not yet spoken to police and was not expecting to.

Today the Auckland Car Club distanced themselves from the incident, saying they did not condone what had happened to the photographer.

They apologised on Facebook for the incident saying it was regrettable.

"The Auckland Car Club executive committee have been made aware of the situation late last night and we are meeting in urgency to deal with the incident.

"Although we have no formal details at this stage and have not yet spoken with Mr Jarvis the Committee would like it to be known that we absolutely do not condone any kind of violence and we hope Mr Klynsmith is okay and apologise to him over this very regrettable incident.

"We would like it to be known that Mr Jarvis was not representing the car club in any formal capacity over the supercar weekend," wrote club representative Neville Cooper in a post.

The footage has drawn outrage from the motorsport community disgusted at what happened as well as the lack of intervention by onlookers.

Those who have commented include the father of the weekend's Auckland Supersprint champion Shane van Gisbergen.

"Yeh mate,..bloody disgraceful. Dirk hope health is all good," posted Robert van Gisbergen on Facebook.

Counties Manukau Police today confirmed they were investigating an alleged assault at the V8 races over the weekend.

A spokeswoman said police had identified a person of interest and were in the process of locating him to speak with him.


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